Rome promises a fusion of tradition and future

Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:12pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

LAUSANNE (Reuters) - Rome promised a combination of "tradition and future", all done on a cost-sustainable basis, if it wins the right to host the 2024 Olympic Games, backers of the bid said on Thursday.

Rome signaled its intent by sending a 24-strong delegation, including high-level government officials, to International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne for a seminar for potential host cities.

Delegates said that Rome plans to use upgraded, existing infrastructure, much of it dating from their previous hosting of the Games in 1960, to reduce costs and eliminate the risk of building white elephant stadiums.

Refurbished venues would include the Olympic stadium which also hosted matches in the 1990 World Cup, and currently hosts Italian rugby internationals and Serie A clubs AS Roma and Lazio.

"Italy is not just a country of cultural tradition but also of technological innovation," Undersecretary of State Claudio De Vincenti, representing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, told Reuters.

"Together with the international Olympic community, we want to organize an Olympic Games which is a fusion of tradition and future.

"We all think that Rome has the all characteristics necessary for the Agenda 2020," he added, referring to the IOC's initiative to encourage less lavish spending on hosting the Games.

"In particular, we already have the sporting infrastructure because of the heritage from our past experience."   Continued...

The ancient Colosseum is pictured before the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession in downtown Rome March 29, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile